Through the support of health and medical research, NHMRC works to improve and promote the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Highlighted below are a timeline of achievements and activity updates.

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2018
Targeted Call for Research into Healthy Ageing

A Targeted Call for Research into Healthy Ageing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is forecast to open on 20 June 2018. Further information is available via Grant Connect.

2018
Rising Star Awards

Dr Lisa Whop was awarded NHMRC's Rising Star Research Excellence Award for 2017. This recognises top-ranked Indigenous researcher is the Early Career Fellowship scheme. For more details and previous recipients see NHMRC Awards in the news centre. 

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2018
Targeted Call for Research into Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health

A Targeted Call for Research into Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from Early Life to Young Adults is currently under review. Applications for this scheme closed on 7 February 2018. Further information is available via Grant Connect.

2018
Overview of Systematic Reviews of Research into the Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (Overview)

In 2015 the Australasian Cochrane Centre (the Cochrane Collaboration) were contracted to identify current systematic reviews (2012 onwards) that included studies involving Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and considered effects of interventions on health.The search identified 25 reviews and summarised the characteristics of current systematic reviews.

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21 December 2017
Tripartite Agreement

The NHMRC, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) are committed to working both within and between their agencies to improve the health of Indigenous Peoples – the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada, the Māori people in New Zealand and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.

2017
Rising Star Award

Associate Professor James Ward was awarded NHMRC’s Rising Star Research Excellence Award. This recognises top-ranked Indigenous researcher in the Early Career Fellowship scheme. For more details and previous recipients see NHMRC Awards in the news centre.

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2017
NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation

Co-hosted by NHMRC and the Lowitja Institute and under the theme "The Butterfly Effect: Translating Knowledge into Action for Positive Change", the Symposium presented an outstanding opportunity to focus on action needed to improve the health and wellbeing of Australia’s First Peoples through effective translation of health, wellbeing and medical research into policy and practice.

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13 November 2017
Torres Strait Islander Yarning Workshop

Torres Strait Islander researchers, health professionals and community members were brought together to discuss distinct health and well-being, and capacity building and strengthening in research and researchers to meet health and well-being needs.

2017
Targeted Call for Research into Dementia

NHMRC opened a Targeted Call for Research into Dementia in Indigenous Australians. Applications for this scheme are now closed. Outcomes from the call will be made available via the funding area of this website.

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2017
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research Ethics Update

In 2013, the NHMRC commenced its review of the Values and Ethics Guidelines to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research is being conducted in an ethical and culturally safe and appropriate manner as to protect the health, safety and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities.

17 May 2016
NHMRC Translating Research into Policy and Practice (TRIPP) Forum

NHMRC held a forum bringing key researchers and stakeholders together to discuss research translation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. This looked to identify evidence practice and policy gaps, effectiveness of interventions and other health questions relevant to Indigenous Australians.

8 April 2014
National Forum – Research Excellence through building capacity of Indigenous researchers

NHMRC held a national forum to bring Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and key stakeholders together to; develop a model to build and strengthen the capacity and research excellence of Indigenous health researchers; encourage applicants to apply to NHMRC schemes; and seek feedback on Chapter 3 of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

May 2013
International Mentorship Workshop

NHMRC participated in a Mentorship Workshop with Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC), and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in Melbourne to identify effective ways to build capacity and mentor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical health researchers.

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2013
Targeted Call for Research into Suicide prevention

NHMRC opened a Targeted Call for Research into Suicide Prevention in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. Outcomes from the call are available via the funding area.

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2012
Targeted Call for Research into Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

NHMRC opened a Targeted Call for Research into Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Outcomes from the call are available via the funding area.

2012
Principal Committee Indigenous Caucus (PCIC)

NHMRC’s Indigenous advisory committee was renamed from Research Agenda Working Group (RAWG) to Principal Committee Indigenous Caucus (PCIC). For details see the committee page.

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2008
Funding Target Reached

In 2002 NHMRC set the target of spending 5% of the Medical Research Endowment Account funding on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in response to Health is Life: Report on the Inquiry into Indigenous Health (2002). This target was reached in 2008 and has since been exceeded.

2003
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research Ethics

In implementing its mandate to foster consideration of ethical issues relating to health, NHMRC has undertaken specific activities to address concerns articulated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in relation to the ethics of health research. In 1991, the NHMRC developed the Interim Guidelines on Ethical Matters in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research.

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2002
Tripartite agreement

A tripartite agreement between NHMRC, Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC), and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) was established. The aim of the agreement is to support research in the area of Indigenous health with the goal of improving the health of Indigenous peoples in these three countries.

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1998
Darwin Criteria

NHMRC adopted the Darwin Criteria to ensure that specific standards are addressed and assessed for Indigenous health research.

1997
Research Agenda Working Group (RAWG) established

Research Agenda Working Group (RAWG) was established as a joint initiative between NHMRC and the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH).

1994
First Indigenous Chief Investigator

NHMRC’s first Indigenous Australian researcher to be funded was Professor Ian Anderson.